PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Donovan McNabb's passing is just fine. His
dance moves need work.
Question on the Saints: How damaging was this loss for the Saints' playoff hopes?
This was an extremely damaging loss for their playoff hopes. They haven't played consistently at all this season and it's hurting them down the stretch of the season. It's a mystery as to why this team is playing so erratically. They have a great running game and a solid passing attack, but can't seem to get all the components moving in the right direction.
Question on the Eagles: Do you attribute Donovan McNabb's success to improved health or the play calling?
McNabb's success is due to his improved health. He's a great quarterback and his previously injured thumb was detrimental to his play. Now that it's healthy, he's returned to his previously outstanding play.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
New Orleans' Deuce McAllister had 184 yards rushing, including
TD runs of 76 and 22 yards, for his eighth straight game with more
than 100 yards. Aaron Brooks threw for 287 yards for the Saints,
who had won four of five.
McNabb, the NFL's worst-rated passer through six games, has been
outstanding in the last five games, completing 93 of 142 passes
(65.5 percent) for 1,224 yards and six TDs.
His 2-yard TD toss to Jon Ritchie in the fourth quarter gave the
Eagles a 33-14 lead. McNabb ran toward Philadelphia's sideline
after the pass, threw his arms in the air and kicked his right leg
out. The silly gyration didn't seem as though it'll catch on.
"That was for Michael Jackson," McNabb said. "We have a lot
fun during the week."
The Eagles (8-3) have won eight of nine after starting the
season with consecutive losses at home. The two-time NFC East
champions are tied with Dallas for first place. They'll play the
Cowboys in Philadelphia on Dec. 7.
"The first two games were abominations," Ritchie said. "We
did a terrible job as a team. We didn't have to do anything to
respond other than work harder."
Desperate to stay in the playoff race, New Orleans (5-6)
committed three key turnovers, including one in Philadelphia's end
zone in the first quarter.
After a 23-yard screen pass from Brooks to McAllister put the
ball at Philadelphia's 1, McAllister was stopped on first down,
even though the head linesman originally ruled he scored. On second
down, Brooks fumbled before handing off to McAllister, and Troy
Vincent recovered in the end zone for a touchback for the Eagles.
One play after McNabb scrambled 34 yards to the Saints 15, Brian
Westbrook ran 15 yards for a TD to give the Eagles a 10-0 lead.
"The turnovers beat us," Saints coach Jim Haslett said.
The Saints, who rallied from a 20-3 first-half deficit to beat
Atlanta 23-20 in overtime last week, trailed 17-0 late in the
second quarter. A 6-yard TD pass from Brooks to Boo Williams cut
Philadelphia's lead to 17-7, but David Akers kicked his second of
four field goals to make it 20-7 at halftime.
After the Saints turned the ball over for the third time on the
opening possession of the third quarter, Akers hit another field
goal to give the Eagles a 23-7 lead.
"It's frustrating," Brooks said. "We just have to keep
playing as hard as we can."
On the Saints' next play, McAllister burst up the middle and ran
76 yards for his longest career TD. A penalty nullified New
Orleans' successful 2-point conversion and the Saints settled for
an extra point that cut Philadelphia's lead to 23-14.
McAllister had 173 yards rushing and a franchise-record 237
all-purpose yards against the Falcons last week. He has rushed for
more than 100 yards a league-best 16 times since the start of last
"We moved the ball effectively, but had too many turnovers,"
Correll Buckhalter's 1-yard TD run gave the Eagles a 17-0 lead
with 2:38 left in the second quarter. The Eagles got the ball at
midfield after Nate Wayne sacked Brooks, forcing a fumble that was
recovered by N.D. Kalu.
Akers had field goals of 36, 41, 42 and 33 yards.<
^Notes: McNabb hasn't thrown an interception in his last 124
attempts, spanning four games. ... The Eagles were without All-Pro
safety Brian Dawkins (foot) and Pro Bowl cornerback Bobby Taylor
(foot). ... Pinkston's 48-yard catch on the game's first play was
his only reception and gave him more yards than he had in all but
one game this season. ... McNabb's first pass gave him 13
consecutive completions going back to last week's game against the
Giants, tying Bobby Hoying's team record. ... Saints CB Dale Carter
left the game with a right quad injury in the first quarter and
didn't return. WR/KR Michael Lewis left with a sprained right ankle
in the third quarter and also didn't come back. ... Westbrook has
nine TDs (six rushing, two receiving and one punt return), most by
an Eagles player since RB Ricky Watters had 13 in 1996.